Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spotting Narcissists

We have to make judgements about other people every day of our lives.

Notice that I said "judgments about" other people, not "judgments of" other people.

Is this person honest? Is that person trustworthy? Can this person handle the task at hand? Is that person one who habitually steps over the line?

If you don't make sensible, reason-and-fact based judgments about other people, you are dead meat. For, the judgements you make determine how much trust you invest in others.

Trust everyone you meet and you are going to buy the Brooklyn Bridge or property in Florida, sight unseen. You are going to end up married to a psychopath or narcissist. You are going to confide in a character assassin. You are going to vote for an Adolf Hitler.

Anyone can be fooled, but it's best to make fooling us as difficult as possible. And we do that by making sensible judgements about the people in our lives.

Everyone needs to know how to recognize a psychopath or narcissist - or any personality disordered person for that matter.

I occasionally reject a comment from someone (probably a narcissist) who wants to tell us we're bad for "diagnosing" people. That we should leave it to the professionals. Never let anyone con you with that.

I love that "Let us take care of you (because we know better than you what's good for you)" philosophy. Hey, who loves ya, baby? You. Self reliance.

Besides, are the professionals and social workers protecting us from these predators? No. Then what? It's some kind of sin for us to be on our guard?

Of course we can't "diagnose" people. We can't decide to have them committed. We can't be like narcissists and slander others by labeling them by name publicly as a narcissist.

But we have every right - nay, we MUST learn to spot narcissists and other predators. Because we mustn't trust them.

Dr. Robert Hare's attitude is a good example. He works hard to make sure that his psychopathy checklist isn't misused or abused. He insists that it be used only by specially trained professionals in the proper setting. Yet he also writes articles explaining the profile of a psychopath for the average person, warning that all people must learn to recognize psychopaths, so that we don't fall easy prey to them.

In other words, there's a big difference between diagnosing or publicly labeling a person as a pathological narcissist and simply making your own private judgement about him or her.

If you are honest, you will probably be correct, because normal people just don't do some of the backwards things pathological narcissists do. These behaviors are too bizarre. I hear from many that while reading my Website they felt as though I had to be present in their home and was writing about their own husband/wife/brother/sister. When the description fits, it fits tight.

And so what if a psychiatrist would diagnose that person as a psychopath instead of a narcissist? They're both predators. So the difference is purely academic and the conclusion is the same: stay away. Besides, psychiatrists often differ in their dignoses and usually diagnose more than one personality disorder in a patient.

There's a big difference between a mental disorder and a personality/character disorder. People need to know that personality disorders are serious business, especially the two predatory ones, NPD and psychpathy. People need to recognize the warning signs.

Because predators are predators: we need to stay as far away from them as we can. It's our right to do so: the right to self preservation and the right to pursue happiness.

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At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about us Ns then? I wish I was not a N, but what can I do about it? What are my possibilities of experiencing true happiness, love and friendship? I hate myself sometimes for being the monster I am and do not think it is fair to the ones close to me, however my moments of clarify are infrequent and only last for limited time periods before I return to my old behaviour pattern.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a dead giveaway: HE'S CARRYING AN INSTRUMENT.
Stay the BLEEP away from anyone with bad breath, a worse attitude and a f***ing guitar.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the N,

We all have to struggle against things in our nature that aren't appropriate, you are no different. You know what is right and what is wrong. You can begin by treating people in the way you desire to be treated and you can quit lying. Hating yourself does no one any good neither does thinking of yourself too highly. Sympathy won't help you either and you might begin your journey to wellness by being very upfront with your family and others close to you about your shortcomings and asking them to hold you to strict standards. Practice giving in an anonymous fashion in which there is no return to you. You can change if there is within you the desire to do so and that is what any hope of happiness for you depends upon. If change is only at this time a mental assent with no true desire, then you need to listen to your head and take steps that will cultivate a true desire to change.


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Kathy said...


I wish I knew. I do know that you must stop, turn your life around, and live it the OTHER way.

Like anyone, you will probably backslide a few times, but don't let that deter you. Identify with the real you deep inside. But be sure also to seek competent help in this. A real pychiatrist with good experience in NPD.

He or she can teach you alternate ways to react to the feelings you get that prompt bad behavior. That can help you control your conduct even when there is no risk to misbehaving.

Simple fact: if you do change your conduct, you WILL eventually feel free of guilt and shame, so you WILL get better.

It might also be necessary to remove temptation by putting a distance between you and your family, especially children. A distant relationship with them is better than a toxic one.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy K:" I hear from many that while reading my Website they felt as though I had to be present in their home and was writing about their own husband/wife/brother/sister. When the description fits, it fits tight."
My sentiments EXACTLY when I first discovered this website and others related to NPD. I think I am ready to heal myself of the devastation that my N brother has brought upon my family. I hope I will be able to expess myself in the weeks to come to all of you who also have suffered at the hands of these "alien" creatures who have no soul.In closing, Kathy you are a brilliant thinker and with apologies to Roberta Flack, I sing to you:
"Strumming my pain with her fingers"
"Singing my life with her words"
"Killing me softly with her song"
"Killing me softly with her song"
"Telling my whole life with her words"
"Killing me softly with her song"

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Solaris said...

A-fucking-men!!! You are bang on with this one. It is very necessary to make such judgements about other people - not to feel superior but to protect ourselves. Even the most righteous amongst us have to do this, or else we're all doomed. Keep on writing Kathy, and thanks for being so fucking down-to-earth. I love the fact that you have such a death-grip on reality. :-)

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"A death-grip on reality"! Thank you, because in this day and age, that's a really nice thing to hear someone say about you.

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Solaris said...

You're welcome. :-)

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kathy, Please do NOT publish the mean spirited remarks I wrote to the N about "wanting a fucking cake". What an asshole thing to write. Please, yeah..."biological machines" ain't healing. Thank you. I sometimes get mad...I shall curb my tongue and think before I type next time. Thank you.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Where is it? I do not remember any such comment. I normally wouldn't publish an attack like that on another commenter, but I do get in a hurry sometimes and might miss a phrase like that in a long comment. If I published it, tell me where. You can email me through the profile link if you want.

If you mean the second comment here and just forgot exactly what is there, I didn't take it as an attack on the one before it. But I will remove it if you want.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

PS I just remembered that Blogger was having problems and down for a while yesterday. And I think today too for awhile, or perhaps intermittently. So some comments may not have gotten through.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, girl...all is well. I just had a visceral, really really mean series of comments designed only to attack, deride and vilify the narcissist who posted first here, which simply ain't cool. Because I believe 100% that narcissism is both volitional and fatal, so I get pissed easily at their whining. I find it amazing, utterly amazing at the person I become when confronted with narcissists. I do not expect it will ever change; I am grateful that I know what kind of a Warrior I am when my boundaries are violated and am grateful to the Good Counsel and brilliance of women like yourself who apply their considerable gift to help us feel sane...but the thing I just cannot believe about myself, and never would have guessed in a million years could be in here is my libidinous, sometimes-there-sometimes-not wish to HURT these people. To break them, shit on them, humiliate them...and I am gleeful about it. That's what makes me feel, ironically the most balanced. The idea of them getting what they have earned makes me DITHER with excitement and joy.
And some hours I feel so much compassion it's crazy. Have you ever seen Blade Runner? That's what our world is like.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed that the N who posted here even recognized his affliction. 99% of them do not. They are perfect -- it is YOU who are screwed up. Even though we want to attack him as the scapegoat for our own personal horror stories, the N here needs to be applauded & encouraged. If my N would ever admit to being one, I would at least feel there is hope.

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed that the N who posted here even recognized his affliction. 99% of them do not. They are perfect -- it is YOU who are screwed up.

In my experience, an N who knows of his own Narcissism is no better than one who doesn't. My brother is an N who is Narcissistic about being Narcissistic!


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